Diver. Photographer. Educator.
I was born and brought up in city environments. Thankfully the adventurous traveling spirit of my family afforded me experiences that nurtured within me a deep desire to be in nature. The experience most relevant to my present work, and to most of what you see on this website, occurred in 1996, on a little island in the Maldives. Sitting 11 meters beneath the surface of the sea, on my very first dive, I realized that that was where I wanted to be more than any place in the world.
It has been twenty years since that day. Somewhere along the way I picked up a camera in an attempt to bring back to the surface images that I could share with people who did not dive. In the last eleven years the process of photography, both above and in the water, has become as much a passion as diving. There is nothing I love more than being underwater, looking through my camera and waiting for Nature to reveal one of her infinite secrets. What you see on this website is an expression of that love in pictures and words.
I am also a PADI Staff Instructor and a partner with EarthCoLab (www.earthcolab.com). All in all, whether as a photographer, dive instructor or conservation program facilitator, I’d like as much of my work and effort to result in some form of education, some increase in awareness, some eye-opening experiences that will get people to interact with their environments with more heart and sensitivity.
I do teach photography on occasion. I am happy to share the joys of underwater photography with people who have a genuine desire to dive, learn and use their images to broaden other people’s perspectives on the environment.
Mamtha Surendra (12th – 15th October 2013): Umeed is an “Unconventional Photographer” with Natural High Artistic skills. It was definitely one of my best decisions to have chosen Umeed as my mentor for photography. I initially went to Umeed to learn about underwater photography as I had been mesmerized since 2 years. What I loved the most about my course….was we were already in a great setting for photography and the classes were candid and I got to learn EVERYTHING I needed to know as a beginner for Land and Underwater photography. Now I can easily take “great” images or rather the Umeed way “Paint my pictures” perfectly with the skills I have learnt through this course.
See some of Mamtha’s images here.